5 New Employee Onboarding Challenges to Overcome


Employee Onboarding challenges could hinder the growth of an organization. One of the fundamental responsibilities of any organization’s HR team and the respective managers is to ensure smooth onboarding of the new hire.

The major problem is that companies focus think of onboarding as a week-long process at the most, post which they dust their hands off it and call it a day. Whereas, in reality, it is a long-term process and it can go from a few weeks to months until the employees feel comfortable in their role.

In fact, this stat puts things in perspective for anyone who is may assume that they have the new employee onboarding game all figured out. 

88% of the new hires feel that their organization does not do a great job of onboarding employees and there is room for improvement. 

The employee Onboarding process should focus on reducing paperwork and increasing the employee engagement rate as it can boost the retention rate by 82% and productivity by 70%.

They say “The first impression is the best impression” is especially true when you are onboarding a new hire. You can potentially lose a great talent just because the proper process was not in place. 

A scenario like this can be avoided by addressing the biggest employee onboarding challenges, and subsequently, proactively avoiding them.

Top Employee Onboarding Challenges

  1. Information bombardment on Day 1
  2. Lack of clarity on the role & expectations
  3. Assuming the new hire is up to date
  4. Right onboarding content for right roles
  5. Not familiar with the primary applications

1. Information Bombardment on Day 1

It is human to feel a little nervous, overwhelmed or even ecstatic on Day 1 of a new job. It’s a new work place, new colleagues, the culture is unfamiliar, you aren’t very sure of your exact role, who your peers are going to be – It's the adult version of first day at school, which we will all agree is a feeling like no other! 


This being the case, it is insensitive to expect employees to absorb and retain all the key information about their new job, the company, its culture and everything else in between on the very first day! 

In a fast-moving organization, you could be tempted to bring your employee up to speed as soon as possible but this could overwhelm them. A new employee has tons of documents to fill, loads of names to memorize, multiple applications to learn, and in some cases huge shoes to fill. Achieving all this in a day or even a week is not possible. 

For starters, you can automate paperwork with an electronic solution as part of Digital Onboarding. Doing so will help you to focus on other important onboarding activities and guide employees to seamlessly fill the documentation without any manual errors. Not just that, the documents are stored in the cloud which eliminates the risk of misplacement.

2. Lack of Role Clarity

One common onboarding challenge that most new hires face during the first month is a lack of clarity of their role. They usually think that they signed up for some specific role but doing something else.
The new employee might be in a dilemma and could be disappointed by the assigned role. 


It is the job of HR to ensure that team leads or managers meet with the new employees to discuss this. The discussion should give clarity to the employee, it must help them to understand how their current role will boost their career. 

3. Assuming the newly acquired skills will stay relevant forever

You hire great talent and provide them with all the necessary skills to excel in their role, and Bam! You assume they will perform incredibly well for the rest of their life and stay with the company forever, right?



Even the brightest talent goes through a knowledge drain and it is your responsibility to ensure continuous learning by enabling on-demand, micro, and virtual form of training to reinforce the initial training.

Regular training will help your employee to be engaged in their jobs, reduce the retention rate, and will encourage them to stay with the organization for a longer period. It always better to have a checklist of things to have by your side while onboarding a new employee as it will help you to avoid assumption.

Relevant Read: The important employee Onboarding checklist that HR should  follow

4. Right Onboarding Content for Right Roles

Onboarding flows should be tailored for specific job roles. Training everyone for everything is not judicious and is definitely an overkill.

For example, Joe is hired for sales. He should be trained on how the product that he is going to sell works. But he shouldn’t be trained to customize the product, it is the job of the Developer.

Right onboarding content-for-right-roles

The same analogy applies to all the applications and processes for which the new employee will be trained. The Onboarding process should be relevant to the new employee and they shouldn't feel overwhelmed.

Providing them with unnecessary information could suggest that the organization wants them to do other jobs as well and could lead to a lower employee retention rate.

Delve Deep: Best Practices of Employee Onboarding

5. Employees Aren’t Familiar with All the Applications

35 job critical applications are used by employees for over 1100 times in a day based on Pega Research.

Let me drop another bomb.

100% of the employees who participated in this research are humans.


When your workforce has to use so many applications, it becomes challenging to train employees to master all of them. And expecting them to know how to use them all instantly is unfair.

Training and Onboarding the new employees on all the applications is practically impossible and is a waste of time, money and effort.

It is ideal if the employees can be guided with relevant documents, videos, and on-demand Walkthroughs that can be accessed by them as and when required.

It will reduce their dependency on HR, L&D, Managers, and colleagues as they can become self-sufficient.

All the relevant documents, videos, walkthroughs, and knowledgebase links can be stored within the application that the employee use with the help of the Digital Adoption Platform.

A Digital Adoption Platform like Apty is a modern solution where each employee is contextually guided within the application with the help of walkthroughs and relevant resources.

It acts as mini customized knowledge base for your employees which reduces dependencies and help you to overcome employee onboarding problems.


Krishnan Kaushik
Written by Krishnan Kaushik

Krishnan works at Apty. He is passionate about Marketing and in love with Google SERPs. You can find him on Twitter @IAM_krish_v and can challenge him for a match of chess.

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